Design

Bugatti's Design Director Achim Anscheidt picks his six favorite models

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is just one of brand Design Director Achim Annscheidt's favorite Bugattis.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Achim Anscheidt has been Design Director at Bugatti since 2004, helping to shape the brand into the sleekly styled horsepower-house it is today. Under his direction, names like Veyron, Chiron, and Divo have made their mark. Which vehicles have left the biggest impression on him?

Anscheidt recently divulged his favorites from the lineup during his tenure.

Veyron 16.4 Pur Sang (2007)

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

"Looking back on the Veyron Pur Sang is like remembering the birth of your first child. You never forget such an emotional event," said Anscheidt.

"I still remember exactly how I walked through the workshop in Molsheim for the first time and how awestruck I was by the technology of the Veyron. I was immensely impressed by its technical material concept. The carbon monocoque with add-on parts for aluminum front and rear frames fascinated me. I was inspired by the beauty of it," said Anscheidt.

Description by Bugatti: "Like discovering a person's charm, their personality. This is what the designer wanted to project in order to create a new and different perception. Instead of using two different colors, the Pur Sang contrasts carbon and aluminum – the combination of these two materials being a first in automotive engineering. In order to highlight the technical beauty of the materials, Bugatti decided against a paint finish and reinterpreted the classic Bugatti two-tone design element in a spectacular new way. The carbon outer skin encloses the W16 engine and vehicle interior, while the light reflection of the aluminum paneling highlights the contours of the Veyron. The Pur Sang marked the beginning of Bugatti's range of special editions and customization program. The Veyron 16.4 Pur Sang was limited to just five units and sold out within just 45 minutes during the IAA in Frankfurt in 2007."

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport (2010)

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

"A very special car for me is and will always be the Veyron Super Sport, which we unveiled in 2010. It was the first time that we in the design department had applied the 'form follows performance' approach so systematically," said Anscheidt.

Description by Bugatti: "Because in order to achieve our goal of breaking the world speed record for series production cars, we had to optimize the aerodynamics. A flat, elongated silhouette provides a streamlining effect, while two NACA ducts incorporated in the roof supply the powerful engine with air. Something that even many Bugatti enthusiasts still do not know to this day is that details of the roof are based on an early pre-design of the Bugatti EB110 SS, the super sports car of the 1990s.

"The engine has an output of 1,200 PS, enabling the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds and to reach a top speed of 415 km/h. Under the strict conditions of Guinness World Records, the world record-breaking car achieved an average top speed of 431.072 km/h, thereby becoming the world's fastest production super sports car. "During one of the high-speed laps on the test track in Ehra-Lessien, I was standing around 10 meters from the track when the Super Sport whizzed past. That was absolutely incredible. It's something I'll never forget," says Achim Anscheidt. Bugatti put the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport on the market in July 2010. The first five "World Record Edition" models sold out immediately."

Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport L’Or Blanc (2011)

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

"With the L'Or Blanc, we created an extraordinary car," said Anscheidt. The idea for the car even has its own story: from early 2011, there was a desire at Bugatti to create a one-off, an art car. "I was rather skeptical of this idea at first, as I by no means wanted to emulate automotive works of art such as those by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Frank Stella or Roy Lichtenstein."

Description by Bugatti: "An extraordinarily interesting car was created in the summer of 2011 in collaboration with the Royal Porcelain Factory (KPM) in Berlin. The Grand Sport L'Or Blanc is one of a kind, featuring high-quality porcelain both on and inside the car – again a first in the automotive industry – and a striking, artistically abstract paint scheme.

"The designers ... captured the magic of these reflections by precisely applying blue strips of tape made of Japanese tissue paper onto a white painted Veyron. The team repeatedly surveyed their work, adjusting the proportions of the strips to the intervening spaces. Finally, the lines stretched over the surface of the Veyron like a network of light reflections.

"What emerged was the combination of a beautiful, fragile material and a vehicle of high technical complexity. The L'Or Blanc ('white gold') became the fastest porcelain in the world. Paint specialists replaced the applied lines with a royal Dark Blue paint by hand, millimeter by millimeter. The one-of-a-kind car was sold to a collector."

Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse (2012)

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

"What makes the Grand Sport Vitesse so special for me? Initially we as designers were criticized for the Vitesse not looking powerful enough as a roadster," said Anscheidt. "But our customers appreciate the fact that it looks like a coupé when the roof is closed. And when the roof is open, they can enjoy the inimitable feel of a roadster."

Description by Bugatti: "With 1,200 PS. In 2013, the Grand Sport Vitesse set a new speed record for open-top sports cars, with an officially recorded speed of 408.84 km/h. The World Record Car (WRC) Edition of the Vitesse was limited to eight cars. They sold out immediately. Out of a total of 150 roadster models, 92 Vitesse cars were produced at the headquarters in Molsheim – to this day the only open-top Bugatti hyper sports cars of the modern era."

Veyron Grand Sport Venet (2012)

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

"Developing a car with a famous artist who is in no way connected to car design can be a tricky undertaking. With Bernar Venet, it was a creative process from start to finish. It was fascinating and impressive to be able to witness how he works and how he creates large-scale sculptures. We worked closely together, and ultimately created something truly beyond compare," said Anscheidt.

Description by Bugatti: "Another one-of-a-kind and an incomparable work of art was created in collaboration with the French artist and sculptor Bernar Venet. With the eponymous Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, Bugatti created a true art object that combines mesmerizing surface design with interior design inspired by haute couture.

"The only matter on which Anscheidt and Bernar Venet did not initially agree was Venet's idea to paint the Veyron in a color gradient from orange to brown, starting from an early stage of rusting iron all the way to heavy, brown rust.

"Together they considered how they could portray this transformation using a different concept. Bernar Venet's enthusiasm for numbers and mathematics provided new inspiration: to depict the technical formulae used to calculate the power of the W16 engine and speed on the bodywork of the Veyron as a color gradient. The formulae radiate like an explosion from the front, over the wings and across the flanks. The rust-like color scheme of the numbers, which can also be seen in the interior, makes reference to a series of successful sculptures by Venet.

"The Grand Sport Venet was presented to the world in December 2012 in the Rubell Family Collection during Art Basel Miami Beach and now belongs to a private collection."

"Les Légendes de Bugatti" – Ettore Bugatti (2014)

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

"We hope that one day, perhaps even at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, the grandchildren of the current owners will sit inside the Ettore Bugatti Legend car and begin to reflect on the beauty of the materials, their aesthetic appeal, and the fact that this car offers value and quality beyond the normal lifespan of an automobile. That is precisely what a Bugatti is, and what it will always embody," said Anscheidt.

Description by Bugatti: "Achim Anscheidt has always been impressed by the Legends edition cars of Jean-Pierre Wimille, Jean Bugatti, Meo Costantini, Rembrandt Bugatti, Black Bess and, above all, Ettore Bugatti, all of which belong to the special edition 'Les Légendes de Bugatti.'

"With bodywork consisting of dark blue exposed carbon and hand-polished aluminum, and an interior featuring soft, natural cordovan leather, the sixth and final edition of the model range based on the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is spectacular. All 18 units of the six-part edition sold out immediately."

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The 2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade is a fresh edition for the company's lineup.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

One of Toyota's most efficient cars is getting the blackout treatment. Like other Nightshade editions Toyota puts out, the 2022 Prius Nightshade has all the requisite black accents while maintaining its heralded powertrain.

The 2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade is available in front- and all-wheel drive. Buyers can add the treatment to Prius L Eco, LE, LE AWD-e, XLE, XLE AWD-e and Limited grades. It comes in the buyer's choice of Midnight Black Metallic, Super White, or Silver Metallic paint job. Front-wheel drive models ride on standard 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels while AWD-e cars get 15-inchers with black insert and lug nuts.

The exterior of the car also gets black headlight accents, mirror caps, door handles, color keyed rear deck spoiler and shark fin antenna.

2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

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Each of the models is powered by the Prius's 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, which is paired with two electric motors. A continuously variable transmission is standard. All-wheel drive models get an EPA-estimated 51 mpg in the city, 47 mpg on the highway, and 49 mpg combined. Front-wheel drive versions do a slightly better 54 mpg in the city, 50 mpg on the highway, and 52 mpg combined.

Inside there are standard SofTex-trimmed trimmed, heated, power adjustable front seats and a SofTex-trimmed heated steering wheel and semi-gloss black center console. A 7-inch infotainment touch screen is standard, as is a six-speaker JBL sound system. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa come on every model, as are an auxiliary jack, three USB ports, a wireless phone charger, and one 12-volt outlet.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard and includes a pre-collision system with low-light pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, bicyclist detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and road sign assist.

All Prius models come with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Toyota's hybrid battery warranty is for 10 years or 150,000 miles from the vehicle's in-service date, whichever occurs first. The hybrid system warranty is for eight years or 100,000 miles from the vehicle's in-service date.

This latest member of the Nightshade family means that there are 11 Nightshade editions in Toyota's stable. The Prius is the first hybrid to get the treatment.

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Two new Toyota Tacomas are on their way.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

With a new, next-gen Tacoma still a few years away, Toyota is bringing two new special edition versions of the truck to market for the 2022 model year. The adventure-ready trucks were teased in a split image the Japanese automaker released this week.

The Tacoma debuted in 1995 and in the three generations since then the truck has gained a solid following across the world. The midsize Toyota Tacoma is the best-selling truck in its class. It sells better than most of the full-size truck offerings, including Toyota's Tundra.

Expect these new versions of the truck to have body styling similar to the current version of the truck. Toyota recently sought a trademark for the word "Trailhunter" and the 2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland Edition might be a naming clue for a new version of the Tacoma.

2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland Special Edition The 2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland Special Edition goes on sale this year. Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is available in six trim levels: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and TRD Pro. Models with "TRD" in their name are traditionally more rugged with the TRD Pro able to scurry up rocks, easily get through mud, and hit the trail in a hurry. It's sold with either a Double or Access cab, depending on trim level, with either a five- or six-foot bed.

Buyers have their choice of a 2.7-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6 under the hood making up to 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque with the larger power plant. Both engines come paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Two- and four-wheel drive are available.

Industry analysts expect the Tacoma to be redesigned for the 2023 model year though the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing chip shortage may push those plans back another model year. Ahead of that truck's debut, the new version of the Tundra will debut. Expect to see that model in the next few months with production kicking off shortly thereafter.

An all-electric SUV and two new larger SUVs are also coming down the pipeline as the Toyota brand begins a busy few years.

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